How to Make Spring Cleaning More Eco-Friendly
by Natalie Bencivenga
March 10, 2022
Spring is just around the corner. I can feel it. The air is changing, smells a little sweeter and a little lighter as the buds on the trees push their way forward ushering in new life. The tulips my husband planted earlier in the year are starting to peek out of the earth, unsure if they should pop up, but enthusiastic to do just that. Throwing open the windows seems almost an act of defiance before April, but who can blame us? For two solid years our homes have been our place of work, of school, of entertainment and our sanctuaries. Now, with spring on the horizon, what better time than this to renew our spaces with some tips on cleaning — eco-friendly style.
- Ditch the chemical cleaners.Buy a reusable, machine-washable mop pad and try this easy solution so that you can feel good about your kids and pets eating off the floor: 10 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar. Want to be wild? Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, which has antibacterial properties, too. Take it to the next level: Forgo a shopping trip and instead wrap a towel or an old sock around a mop-shaped base and pin together on the top. Voila!
- Stick with fragrance-free deodorizing cleaning agents.The nasty chemicals that create fragrances have been linked to cancer. Instead, do what our grandmothers did. Stick with baking soda or vinegar, both of which are great for getting rid of the gunk and can clean in a multitude of ways in every room.
- Get yourself a houseplant. Houseplants are great for creating a healthy home as well as cheering up any space. There are many types that require varying degrees of care, but snake plants and rubber plants are great choices to start with.
- Skip air fresheners and candles, which can add toxins to the air. Instead, open windows whenever possible and if you are able to buy an air purifier, it is a worthwhile investment.
- Try reusable rags and tree-free paper towels whenever you can.
- Explore a place like The Refillery X the Local Instead which was highlighted in last month’s Green Voice. When you run out of your cleaning supplies, you can refill them there so that we reduce our dependence on single-use plastics.
- When it comes to spring cleaning your closet, ask yourself if you have worn a piece within the year.If you have gone an entire year without putting it on, it may be time to give it away to someone who can give it new life.
We all can’t do everything, but we can all do something. By starting small and making incremental changes in our daily lives, we can begin to recognize our connectedness to one another and the planet. When you head to the voting booth this spring and fall, you can also make your voice heard by voting for candidates committed to a greener tomorrow. Mother Earth is the only home we know. Let’s take care of her.